By Dana Shultz for DietsInReview.com
Former President Bill Clinton was well known for his love of junk food during his presidency in the late ’90s, commonly enjoying such indulgences as BBQ, cheeseburgers, french fries and ice cream shakes. But after having quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 followed by a stent surgery in 2010, the politician decided it was time to get serious about improving his health.
In one interview with CNN, Clinton said, “I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. I drink a protein supplement every morning. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder…[eating this way] changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds. I got back to what I weighed in high school.”
But going vegan wasn’t just for vanity’s sake. Clinton continued to battle some serious health issues even after his surgeries, which fueled his quest for health even more. “I did it because after I had this stent put in, I realized that, even though it happens quite often after you have bypasses because you lose the veins; the truth is that it clogged up, which meant the cholesterol was still causing build up in my vein that was part of my bypass,” he said. “And I didn’t want that to happen again.”
In order to get his health on track, Clinton said he did some research and found out that 82 percent of people since 1986 who had gone on a plant-based diet had begun to heal themselves; with some even experiencing arterial blockage clean up.
“We now have 25 years of evidence, and so I thought since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea’s wedding, I’ll become part of this experiment.”
Ultimately, Clinton said he wanted to be around to be a grandfather, and that was the major driving factor. “That’s really the big deal,” he said. “Hillary and I, we’re happy. We love our son-in-law. And if there’s gonna be grandkids we wanna be around to do our part.”
As for what he hopes for the American nation in light of the worsening obesity epidemic, Clinton says the main thing is, we can’t let our children grow up to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, and that’s what’s happening. So vegan diet or not, we need to focus on efforts to get this problem under control.